Black Lives Matter march run by BHS students ends with street painting

A lively rally that saw protesters march from San Pablo Park to Berkeley High was described as peaceful and “awesome.”

Protesters paint the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ in giant yellow letters on Allston Way Tuesday at the end of a protest march organized by Berkeley High students. Photo: Coco Rosos

A Stand with Black Youth protest and march, organized by students at Berkeley High School Tuesday afternoon, was an upbeat and peaceful event, which ended with the painting of the words Black Lives Matter in giant yellow letters on Allston Way.

The protesters met at San Pablo Park at 4 p.m. and marched to the Berkeley High campus with much singing and dancing along the way. Annie Burke, who posted video of the demonstration at its final destination, described the event as “awesome,” and said it comprised both young and old people and “everyone” was wearing masks.

The painting on Allston Way of the words that are being heard around the world during this moment of uprisings against the killing of African Americans by police, coincided with a discussion happening concurrently at a Berkeley City Council meeting about a city-sanctioned action to do the same thing. The council approved the idea and is set to go ahead. Although the location was not announced, discussion had centered on Martin Luther King Jr. Way or Milvia Street. The concept originated in Washington DC when that city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, had ‘Black Lives Matter’ painted in 35-foot-wide yellow letters a street that leads to the White House.

Tuesday’s protest was at least the third put on by Berkeley High. The first — which may also have been the first organized George Floyd-inspired protest in Berkeley — happened on May 28 at Civic Center Park and ended with a brief freeway takeover. Students also rallied on Saturday, staging a vigil outside the headquarters of the Berkeley Police Department.


Photo: Coco Rosos

Photo: Coco Rosos
Photo: Coco Rosos

Photo: Coco Rosos
Photo: Nancy Rubin
Photo: Coco Rosos
Photo: Nancy Rubin
Photo: Nancy Rubin
Photo: Nancy Rubin
Photo: Nancy Rubin
Photo: Nancy Rubin
Photo: Nancy Rubin
Photo: Coco Rosos

Photo: Coco Rosos
Photo: Coco Rosos
Photo: Coco Rosos
Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside. Email: tracey@citysidejournalism.org.